By on April 30, 2021

General Motors has decided its fifth electric vehicle facility should be in Mexico and has set aside $1 billion for its complex in Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila, Mexico. While a portion of the funds will go toward a new paint shop, the manufacturer also said the money would be used to prepare the site for EV and battery production, angering the United Auto Workers (UAW).

“This is a slap in the face for not only UAW members and their families,” stated UAW Vice President Terry Dittes. “General Motors automobiles made in Mexico are sold in the United States and should be made right here, employing American workers.”

General Motors announced its investment in the Arizpe Ramos Manufacturing Complex via the GM-Mexico website on Thursday. The other planned EV plants are located in Spring Hill, Tennessee; “Factory ZERO” at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly; Orion Assembly in Orion Township; and CAMI in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada — with the final example also receiving some union pushback.

The union claims that General Motors having requested significant investments in EVs (in the form of subsidies) from the U.S. government makes this decision particularly unpalatable. Dittes said it wasn’t just an affront to UAW workers but also to American taxpayers, noting that vehicles manufactured in Mexico will eventually be transported back across the border to be sold stateside. His solution was to just move the jobs back north to support U.S. businesses and labor.

“That is why our nation is investing in these companies,” Dittes said. “Taxpayer money should not go to companies that utilize labor outside the U.S. while benefiting from American government subsidies. This is not the America any of us signed on for. Frankly, it is unseemly.”

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D) was inclined to agree, hinting at a possible boycott of GM products manufactured outside of the country.

“Electric vehicles must be built here in America by the finest workforce in the world — the American worker,” she elaborated. “Not one American dollar should support our own jobs being shipped off to Mexico – especially when we have the workers and the technology to manufacture the best vehicles of the future here at home. General Motors needs to reaffirm their commitment to working, American families. I am focused on ensuring auto innovation and manufacturing stays in the hands of hard-working American people so that the United States can remain the global leader for the next era. Legislation I am leading in Congress, the U.S.A. Electrify Forward Act and the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Future Act, will modernize and expand programs used to build and retool auto factories in the United States so that future generations of American workers will benefit long-term and at the same time decarbonize the economy.”

GM’s rebuttal has been to point out the 9,000 (eventual) jobs created inside of America through the other EV facilities and issuing reminders that its commitment to electrification is still being upheld through these actions. But the UAW won’t have dominion over any of them until it manages to organize and get the automaker to acknowledge some kind of contract.

“We are really proud about contributing to GM’s vision of a future with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion, by the production of electric vehicles,” said Francisco Garza, GM Mexico president and managing director, in a statement. “We are confident that future economic conditions will enable this investment to eventually grow the complex workforce in some operations from two to three shifts.”

More details will need to be provided before we learn exactly what Ramos Arizp will be producing. The site is currently responsible for the Chevrolet Equinox and Blazer with room leftover for powertrains. The other four facilities will be building the EV600 electric delivery vehicle, Cadillac Lyriq, Chevrolet Bolt EV, Chevrolet Bolt EUV, Cruise AV, Origin robotaxis, GMC Hummer EV, and the upcoming Chevrolet Silverado electric. There’s a chance Mexico could be tapped to assist with some of the aforementioned models, though the rumor mill claims it’s being prepped for electrified utility vehicles.

[Image: Chess Ocampo/Shutterstock]

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25 Comments on “UAW Annoyed With GM’s Mexican EVs...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “That is why our nation is investing in these companies”

    No, it isn’t. The national subsidization of EVs is to serve a green agenda, not a jobs program.

    Note to UAW: If keeping US jobs for EV manufacture is really your priority, then you should be happy that the EV market leader – Tesla – is right here in the US. And, both Tesla and GM have been so successful selling them that they have already exhausted the Federal subsidy.

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    I’ve been to the GM Springhill plant. I’ve rarely worked with people quite so sloppy or lazy, which could just have been the three guys that were helping me but still unacceptable. I would have had them drug tested and fired (because I knew they’d fail). Frankly, building things in Mexico is good for relations and should not be universally viewed as somehow bad.

    • 0 avatar

      You are obviously connected to the Mexican industry. Please don’t be so obvious.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      “Frankly, building things in Mexico is good for relations and should not be universally viewed as somehow bad.”

      I agree. I think we need to support the countries that we share a continent with. It’s in our own interest that these countries are successful.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    ““Electric vehicles must be built here in America by the finest workforce in the world — the American worker,” she elaborated. “Not one American dollar should support our own jobs being shipped off to Mexico – especially when we have the workers and the technology to manufacture the best vehicles of the future here at home. General Motors needs to reaffirm their commitment to working, American families. I am focused on ensuring auto innovation and manufacturing stays in the hands of hard-working American people so that the United States can remain the global leader for the next era.””

    Debbie did you fall asleep in 1994 and just wake up? Where the f*** was this faux patriotism hiding from 2014 to now?

  • avatar
    tylanner

    Biden is here to help.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    GM is motherless, get over it. Buy a Ford or Tesla, move on.

  • avatar
    3800FAN

    More good jobs south of the boarder = less illegial immigration. I dont mind mexican built anything and dont care where my cars made as long as its from a reliable manufacturer. That being said my two hondas are made in usa and father in laws gmc sierra 1500 is made in mexico. Buy american? Ok Honda!

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    If you want to buy American buy a Honda or a Toyota. Sure they are not unionized but most of their parts are made in the USA along with being assembled in the USA. GM is not that different from Ford and Stelantis all are more concerned with cost cutting and a race to bottom quality wise. Got to save those dollars for bonuses for the CEOs and the board members.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      You can’t buy beach sandals or flip flops without big CHINA or HECHO EN MEXICO stickers that you can’t miss. Cars/trucks should be the same. The sticker should be at least 2 feet across, shiny on a back window perhaps.

      I know you can find its origin on the morroney or door tag, but there needs to be more shaming.

      • 0 avatar

        Lol. My Japanese car was built in Canada. The German one Hecho en Mexico and the other German was made in USA. The last German car I had was my 2012 tdi and we all knew how that turned out !

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I have a Nissan built in Mississippi, a truck built in Michigan, a Chevrolet from Kentucky (though the lone bowtie emblem is under the licence plate like it is ashamed of it lol), and a Honda from Alabama. Not real hard to find US built vehicles. Some of those are older, but all still built in those plants.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    In Texas Ford in the early 60s put rear window stickers in their Galaxy “Proudly Made In Texas by Texans”. I wonder if they would ever put a rear window sticker with “Proudly Hecho En México” or “Proudly Hecho En China” and below that in smaller print “Printed in China”. I bet most Americans would not even notice it. The Buick Endeavor is made in China and most who own one think it is American made. Same for the Buick Encore and Chevy Trax that are made in South Korea. It is a matter of time till For

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    In Texas Ford in the early 60s put rear window stickers in their Galaxy “Proudly Made In Texas by Texans”. I wonder if they would ever put a rear window sticker with “Proudly Hecho En México” or “Proudly Hecho En China” and below that in smaller print “Printed in China”. I bet most Americans would not even notice it. The Buick Endeavor is made in China and most who own one think it is American made. Same for the Buick Encore and Chevy Trax that are made in South Korea. It is a matter of time till Ford and Stelantis import cars from China.

  • avatar
    redapple

    I was a skilled trades supervisor at 2 GM facilities. Observations:
    – Grossly overpaid. Now – pay stands at ~~$36/hr for skilled tradesman. Plus benefits that are better than 90% + of degreed engineers outside of big 3.
    – Go out of their way to NOT WORK. And real slow when doing tasks.
    – Springloaded and ready to launch and call the committeeman for a perceived rules violation.

    Mexico is a great place for new plants. They graduate as many engineers and the USA and they are good ones. I ve worked for a Mexican based supplier. Been to mexico 100 times over the last 25 year.
    – Salaries are a fraction of UAW. White shirts are about 20% lower.
    – Plant construction is about 1/2 as costly.
    – Permits are no hassle. No 3 month waits like in New York, IL, WIS and so forth.
    – Emissions are not nearly as strict. Gift to foundries, forge, heat treat and assy plant paint shops.
    – Same language – same time zones mostly. 1/2 flight to get there. (all salaries staff speak english very well.) Unlike china.
    – Lower total tax load.

    You are nuts to NOT build in Mexico. It would be a no brainer for me.

  • avatar

    Barra has already solidified herself as the worst GM CEO since Roger Smith. You will see what happens when GM can’t even find 10,000 customers for their upcoming EVs. Heck, we may even see a second major strike.

  • avatar
    NigelShiftright

    Looking out the window from where I’m typing this, I see in my carport a Subaru built in Indiana and a Toyota built in Kentucky.

    Americans getting paychecks.
    Japanese quality control.
    No UAW.

    Win, win, win.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I have a Honda CRV made in East Liberty Ohio with mostly US made components, an older Ford Ranger made in Twin Cities, and a Buick LaCrosse made in Kansas. I believe the Honda has more US made parts than either the Ford or the Buick.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    I think we can all agree that GM + UAW = an unbeatable combination. Kind of unfair to the rest of the world.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    “…must be built here in America by the finest workforce in the world — the American worker…”

    LOL. Go visit a factory in China.

    Not to worry UAW. When you are all out of work, Biden and the Dems will cut you a check every month to stay home and play video games.

  • avatar
    dantes_inferno

    Hey UAW, repeat after me:

    Hecho en Mexico.

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